So I’m sitting at a booth at Breadmen’s on Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill enjoying a very pleasant lunch conversation over a bowl of brunswick stew. Suddenly it occurred to me – a sniper dispatched by InsideCarolina could score a double hit, and become a hero in some beady eyes, if he knew the two who dats that were sitting there together.
That smart aleck BobLee….. and JAY SMITH !!! THAT Jay Smith ?? Yep… that notorious UNC History Professor that is “out to destroy UNC Sports”…. if you believe the hyperbole hate spewed by the usual spewers of such drivel. BobLee and Jay chatted about ships and sails and ceiling wax and “going to college”. Nice guy. We intend to chat some more ……
I ply my trade in a post-apocalyptic biker bar medium where every version of “Truth” is available if you google long enough. When a French history professor or a mild-mannered reading tutor stumble into the cyber hell-hole of the Internet it can be pretty much like Quinton Tarantino’s Dusk To Dawn. The blood-sucking zombies come out of the woodwork. Before one can say “who ARE these people” they have you and your reputation chained to a wall and are eyeing your entrails for dinner. Welcome to my world.
“Jay Smith is an eeeevil meddlesome SOB who hates sports and is out to destroy UNC” is an opinion shared by more than a few people for sure. It seemed just a bit too hyperbolic for me. I wanted to see for myself.
I noted to Jay that we might have differing views on strategy to accomplish shared objectives, but we most definitely share many of the same people who really really don’t like either one of us. The enemy of my enemy is my friend? We compared obscene names we’ve each been called in emails. Very similar lists with the same misspellings.
Since Young Marvin tweeted five years ago the facts refuting the facts refuting the facts refuting the facts that “EVERYBODY KNOWS is true” have stacked up like cordwood in an Amish barn.
I was curious just how eeeeevil and diabolical a Professor of 18th century French History could be. I read (listen to) enough detective mystery thrillers about psychopaths, sociopaths, serial killers and stone-cold assassins that I am open to anyone having a parallel life in which he or she dances with the devil, but that didn’t seem to fit Jay Smith. I was right.
Jay Smith is NOT a psychopath, sociopath or serial killer. I did not run my litmus test for stone-cold assassin. I’ll do that next time. OK, IF he had ordered “fava beans and a nice Chianti” I might have gotten a bit nervous. His chicken salad sandwich and sweet tea seemed normal enough.
A college campus is an ivy-covered collage of trite lazy stereotypes. Dumb jocks, ditzy coeds, fire-breathing ideologues, privileged frat boys, harrumphing administrators, smelly hippies, roommates with very bad hygiene etc etc etc….. and at least one constipated faculty nerd who had a bad experience in Jr Hi PE and “hates jocks”. It is convenient to stick that last label on Jay Smith. Many immediately did so when he first spoke out.
Or is UNC History Professor Jay Smith simply a career academic who always wanted to be a college professor doing what college professors used to do – teaching college students – before so many of’em became obscenity-screaming political activists. I spent two hours with Jay Smith and cannot tell you his politics.
Jay has been reading BobLeeSays for some time and has deduced what my politics is. That he gladly accepted my lunch invite and that we had a delightful conversation told me he is tolerant and accepting of others POV. When I told him the sordid tale of me and “Dr Debbie” he laughed. Apparently Dr Debbie doesn’t like him either. I think a LOT of us fall in that category.
Jay Smith has not / does not harbor a deep-seated grudge against “jocks”. He went about teaching his 18th century French History at UNC since 1990 amid all the stuff that happens on a large college campus. He became concerned in the post Marvin tweet era. He saw what pretty much everyone saw …… a poleaxed university administration running around in circles, tripping over itself and blaming its blatant non-existant oversight of athletics on an intrepid newspaper reporter named Dan Kane.
Jay Smith is NOT out to STOP Big Time Football / Basketball at UNC or anywhere. He does NOT want to lead a national revolution to pull the plug on ESPN and implement wide-ranging reforms that will undo everything we currently know as Big Time College Sports. Jay doesn’t even care if UNC is in the New ACC or not. He is not necessarily a “Southern Ivies Conference” dreamer, although we both thought about that a moment and sighed.
Jay Smith wants “his university” to man-up….. admit it screwed up BAD….. accept the consequences of its actions / lack of actions and move on to sin no more. That it has been five years so far and we’re still “looking into allegations” seems absurd to Jay Smith. Seems absurd to me too. Howsabout to you?
Is Rashad Speaks a “game changer”? Maybe. Jay and I agreed there are two issues that are now “the elephant in the room”.
(1) Find Wayne Weldon and professionally interrogate him until the details of his role in this are clear. If that implicates Roy Williams so be it.
(2) Every current / former UNC athlete that speaks up to vouch for Roy Williams and/or his experience at UNC should release a copy of his own transcript along with his “I love Roy” tweet. If the abnormalities in those transcripts are as apparent as they are in McCants (and Peppers’) we have a consistent pattern of academic flim flammery. If its “just McCants and Peppers” then we don’t have a pattern. ….. Don’t want to do that? Fine. Then their support has no credibility. This is serious stuff. Blustery self-righteous BS won’t work any more.
Prior to Marvin’s tweet and the resultant fall of UNC’s Humpty-Dumpty off the wall, Jay Smith just enjoyed teaching French History at UNC. When he chose to ask “Why isn’t the emperor wearing any clothes” the wrath of BoardMonkeyWorld and more than a few BlueZone bruised egos went KABOOM.
In hindsight, might Jay Smith have posed his “emperor wears no clothes” concern without attracting the media spotlight that hit him between the eyes? You mean like write polite letters to Holden Thorp and Karen Gill and Jan Boxill expressing his concern? He did that three years ago and was brushed off and told “don’t worry, we have it under control”.
FWIW…. Mary Willingham went the polite letters of concern route too and got the same “don’t worry we got it handled” response when she got any response at all.
If UNC Administrators actually had it “handled and under control”, Jay Smith would just be an anonymous UNC history professor….. and we probably never would have had lunch together at Breadmens on Tuesday.